Child sexual abuse in Oklahoma. We hear about it in the papers and on the news. We know the victims. Maybe we have been a victim.
All jurisdictions have laws prohibiting it, including Tulsa County. In fact, Oklahoma has several laws prohibiting child sexual abuse.
There is some overlap among these laws, allowing prosecutors a great deal of leeway in terms of charging the crime. Here is what you need to know.
Caretakers of Children are Prohibited from Abuse
Oklahoma law prohibits a caretaker or any other person from abusing, neglecting, committing any sexual abuse, or exploiting a child in their care.
The crime is a felony punishable by up to a year in county jail, or a fine from $500 to $5,000, or both. If the child involved is under 12 years of age, a defendant could face at least 25 years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5
This statute expressly includes sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is defined as the willful and malicious touching or other sexual act or activity with a minor. It includes—but is not limited to—rape, incest, and lewd and indecent acts or proposals involving a child.
Indecent Acts or Proposals are Prohibited
Oklahoma law prohibits the knowing and intentional engaging in any sort of lewd or indecent act or proposal with a child under the age of 16, or who is reasonably believed to be under that age. This law involves both communications concerning sexual acts and the acts themselves. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1123
The statute contains a laundry list of prohibited acts. However, any sex act with a child— even if the act is not listed—is prohibited and constitutes child sexual abuse in Oklahoma.
The list includes:
- lasciviously looking at a child’s private parts;
- engaging in any sexual act;
- forcing a child to view or engage in a sexual act;
- viewing pornography;
- urinating or defecating on or with a child in a sexual manner;
- sexually exposing yourself to a child;
- enticing a child to a private location with the intent to have sexual contact;
- bondage; penetration; or
- sexual touching of any sort.
In order to be charged, the child must be under 16 and the perpetrator must be at least three years older than the victim.
If convicted of child sexual abuse in Oklahoma of a child under 16, a defendant could face 3 to 20 years in prison. If the victim is under 12, the adult faces 25 years or more of incarceration. Subsequent convictions could mean life without the possibility of parole.
These acts are also considered sexual battery. Sexual battery upon a child is defined as intentionally touching, mauling, or feeling of the body or private parts of any person 16 years of age or older in a lewd and lascivious manner without their consent. This is a felony crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Other Forms of Child Sexual Abuse in Oklahoma
Likewise, involving a child in pornography is illegal. This can happen if an adult gives a child pornography to view when grooming that child for sexual contacts or when an adult has a child participate in the creation of child pornography. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1021
Prison terms vary, depending on the activities engaged in, but all are lengthy.
Finally, offering or transporting a child for the purpose of prostitution is also expressly prohibited. Like all child sexual abuse in Oklahoma, this is a felony offense; it is punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1087
No matter what statute a person is charged under, a conviction for child sexual abuse means a defendant must register as a sex offender after release from prison. This requirement can make life post-prison difficult, especially with regard to housing and employment opportunities.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are being charged with a child sexual abuse in Oklahoma, it is important that you hire an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney. These crimes can carry serious consequences.
Only a local attorney will know the court system and judges in the area. Do not delay. Our initial consultation is free.
Call Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.
We pride ourselves on providing our clients with excellent representation at reasonable prices.